In relationships, there’s no such thing as ‘two people just can’t work’ or ‘two people just aren’t meant to be’. If a relationship fails, it’s a choice. If a relationship succeeds it’s not just because their personalities mesh. It is a choice. What most of us do (including myself) is take a reactive approach to our relationship. So we wait until something happens to begin working on issues. Or we wait until a character flaw exposes itself and that’s when we’ll tell our friends about what our spouse did etc.
As a manager, before I start a shift I’m required to do what is called a ‘pre-shift checklist’. A pre-shift checklist is a checklist of common areas of a shift that need to be in place in order for it to run smoothly. For instance, on the pre-shift there’s a section that tells you to check the schedule to ensure there’s sufficient staffing. There’s another area on the checklist that tells you what stock levels to check. So it ensures you don’t miss anything. It ensures you check equipment, food safety and much more. It is said that doing your pre-shift removes about 75-80% of barriers between you and running a good shift. Why? Because you are taking a preemptive approach rather than reacting when something you didn’t prepare for goes wrong.
In our relationships, many of us skip our pre-shift and we just go with the flow. So when something happens or when an issue arises, that’s when we deal with it and we ‘react’ to it because we were ill-prepared in the first place. But why not try and take a more proactive and preemptive approach to our relationships? What if we looked at things that commonly affected relationships and began working on them before they became an issue? One thing my girlfriend and I have decided to do is begin to take a more preemptive approach to our relationship. Each month we focus on different areas of our relationship and whether it’s in need of development or not, we still try to build that area. So one month we did communication another month we may do something else. The idea is that we’re trying to work on things in our relationship, before they become an issue.
Relationships are one of those things that need to be fed. They need nutrient. As my sister always says, it needs to grow. And if our relationships aren’t moving into the direction of growth, then they are dying. There’s no middle ground. So it’s important to keep in mind that healthy relationships aren’t joyrides. In order for you to truly reap the benefit, you have to put in work.